How to Start a Blog: Essentials for Beginners

how-to-start-a-blogMany newcomers find that starting a blog is quite confusing. But this happens with most of the beginners on the road to internet wealth. Almost 90 percent of those do not have any idea about blogging or blogs when they start and search here and there for information about blogging and other how to start a blog tutorials. However a lot many online material and guides require that the user have some technical skills to start and this becomes quite difficult for most non-geeks.

However, let me assure you from  the start that creating blogs is not a complex endeavor and this task can be perfectly accomplished without knowing any complex or any programming. Technology has made it possible now to start a blog in almost automatic way. Therefore, it is now immaterial if you are 13 or 75 years old: you CAN start a blog. And all this is possible with a few clicks only.

If you are not sure why you should start, you may like to read another articles titled “Why Start a Personal Website” and “Why Start a business website.

So given below is our short tutorial on How to start a blog:

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1) What Topic to Blog About

The first and foremost thing to do is to find a blog topic. Think about something you are really good at and which you enjoy doing with a lot of passion. If you have something like this, then start a blog about this topic. For example the first blog that i started was related to tech news because i had a passion for consuming latest and hottest tech news. If you start a blog about a topic which does not interest you, you will find it a lot difficult to write content for your blog and update it regularly. It also does not make sense otherwise.

And if your chosen topic is something which you are an expert in, then it is an ever better proposition. However, if you can not think of any niche in which you are an expert, then you can start a blog about literally anything: your hobbies, your life’s valuable moments, your daily log or whatever you like to write about.

2) Free or Self-Hosted Blog

The next important decision you need to take is regarding which blogging platform to use. Most successful blogs on the internet are made using WordPress. In fact, WordPress powers more than 70 million websites on internet and undisputedly the most popular blogging platform. And even with WordPress, i would recommend that you do not use the free WordPress.com for your blog. However, if you would want to use it anyway, then you can read my detailed guide on how to use WordPress.

When i say do not start your blog on a free platform like blogger.com, Tumblr, Weebly or even WordPress.com, i say this based on following reasons:

Free Blogs have a Price

While it is possible to create a free blog using Tumblr or Blogger but there is a hidden price you will pay with these free blogs…

First of all you will not be getting yourowndomain.c0m. All these free blogging services will give you a subdomain on your blog: something like yourblog.howtomakeawebsiteonline.com and not (howtomakeawebsiteonline.com). It does not look professional to have a blog like howtomakeawebsiteonline.blogger.com.

  • These free blogs give you limited options for extensions with themes and plugins which means you are locked in the looks and functions that are available as default for these free blogging platforms.
  • Most importantly you do not have control over your blog. In fact, your blog is not hosted within your reach, which means you are not the real owner of yoru blog. If the service decides to delete their blog based on any reading of their policies, you have no recourse. In fact they are within their rights to delete your blog even without giving you any warning.
  • If your aim is to make money with blogging, then you will not be able to earn any money via blogging, because these free services do not allow you placing ads on your own blog. Even if in some cases they permit, they will take the revenue share of as high as 50% from your earning.

However, if you do not have enough money to start a self hosted blog then you may start with a free blog. However, i can hardly stress more the importance of a self-hosted blog on your own domain. With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you are in complete, absolute control of your blog and with a wide choice of professional themes and plugins, you can make your blog really special and professional looking. This lead us to the next question:

What Does a Self Hosted Blog and a Domain Name Cost?

You will be surprised to know that it does not cost much. In fact it costs less than a movie ticket. You can buy yourowndomainname.com under $10 and and web hosting will cost under $50 per year. You can also pay for hosting on monthly basis which would cost between $4 to $8 per month. With self-hosted blog, you are not investing a lot. In fact you can cancel hosting anytime if you later on find that this was not your piece of cake.

3) Selecting a Domain Name, Finding Hosting and Installing WordPress

Now that you have made the right decision of starting a self-hosted blog based on WordPress and on your own domain, you need to buy a domain.

But before this you need to do your homework before buying a domain name. Your main focus should be on buying a domain name that is short and brandable. A domain name like www.latestandhottesttechnews.com is not recommended because people can not remember such a long domain name easily which means they will not return to your blog. You should choose a short domain name which is also brandable. You may like to read our detailed guide on choosing a domain name.

As regards web hosting, i would recommend Web Hosting Hub due to two reasons: They are reasonably cheap in pricing and they have excellent support which is vital for beginners. They will guide you through every step of creating your blog. However, the best thing about Web Hosting Hub is their one click Blog installer with which you can create your own blog within a minute. All this with just a few simple clicks. Read useful tips for choosing web hosting.

Once you have purchased your domain and hosting, there are two options for installing your blog:

  • Using One-Click-Installer from WebHostingHub
  • Manually

I will not recommend that beginners who are trying to set up their first blog should use the manual option. By using the first option, you can get your blog online really quickly.

Using the first option above, I have written a detailed step by step and graphical tutorial on how to start a blog which will guide you through each and every step from buying a domain name to installing WordPress with the help of pictures.

 

 

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